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But death restored him to his old place in the affection of his country. Who could hear unmoved of the fall of that which had been so great, and which had stood so long? The circumstances, too, seemed rather to belong to the tragic stage than to real life. A great statesman, full of years and honours, led forth to the Senate Housel by a son of rare hopes, and stricken down in full council while straining his feeble voice to rouse the drooping spirit of his country, could not but be remembered with peculiar veneration and tenderness. The few detractors who ventured to murmur were silenced by the indignant clamours of a nation which remembered only the lofty genius, the unsullied probity, the undisputed services, of him who was no more. For once, the chiefs of all parties were agreed. A public funeral, a public monument were eagerly voted. The debts of the deceased were paid. A provision was made for his family. The City of London requested that the remains of the great man whom she had so long loved and honoured might rest under the dome of her magnificent cathedral. But the petition came too late. Everything was already prepared for the interment in Westminster Abbey.
B. FRANKLIN TO MISS HUBBARD,
PHILADELPHIA, 23 February 1756. I CONDOLE with you. We have lost a most dear and valuable relation. But it is the will of God and nature, that these mortal bodies be laid aside,5 when the soul is to enter into real life. A man is not completely born until he be dead. Why then should we grieve, that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society ?
We are spirits. That bodies should be lent us, while they can
1 The Senate House, La Chambre des Pairs.—2 A provision was made for his family, Sa famille fut pourvue.—3 His brother, Son propre frère.—4 I condole with you, Je partage votre douleur. --5 Belaid aside, Soient abandonnés.
afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or in doing good to our fellow-creatures, is a kind and benevolent act? of God. When they become unfit for these purposes, and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid become an incumbrance, and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent, that a way is provided by which we may get rid of them. Death is that way. We ourselves, in some cases, prudently choose a partial death. A mangled painful limb, which cannot be restored, we willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it; and he who quits the whole body, parts at once with all pains, and possibilities of pains and diseases, which it was liable to, or capable of making him suffer.
Our friend and we were invited abroad on a party of pleasure, which is to last for ever. His chaise was ready first ; and he is gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together ; and why should you and I be grieved at this, since we are soon to follow, and know where to find him ? Adieu.
MOSES AT THE FAIR. As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me from home.2 “No, my dear,” said she, “our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to very good advantage ;3 you know all our great bargains are of his purchasing. He always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them 4 till he gets a bargain.”
As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to entrust him with this commission ; and the next morning I perceived his sisters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business of the toilette being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring home groceries in. He had on a coat made of that cloth they call thunder-and-lightning, which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of gosling green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black ribbon. We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, “ Good luck! good luck!" till we could see him no longer. . . . .
1 That bodies should be lent us, .... is a kind and benevolent act, Si des corps nous ont été donnés, : ... c'est un acte de bonté et de bienveillance.—2 To permit me from home, à me laisser sortir.—3 To very good advantage, Très-avantageusement. -4 Tires them, Il harcèle les gens.
“ But as I live,"3 cried my wife, “ yonder comes Moses without a horse, and the box at his back.”
As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a pedlar. “Welcome! welcome, Moses ! Well, my boy, what have you brought us from the fair ?”—“ I have brought you myself," cried Moses, with a sly look, and resting the box on the dresser.
_“Ay, Moses," cried my wife, “that we know. But where is the horse ?"_“I have sold him," cried Moses, “for three pounds five shillings and twopence.”—“Well done, my good boy,” returned she, “I knew you would touch them off.4 Between ourselves, three pounds five shillings and twopence is no bad day's work. Come, let us have it, then.”—“I have brought back no money," cried Moses again. “I have laid it all out in a bargain ;5 and here it is !” pulling out a bundle from his breast. “Here they are ! a gross of green spectacles, with silver rims and shagreen cases.”—“A gross of green spectacles !” repeated my wife in a faint voice. “And you have parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross of green paltry spectacles !"6_“ Dear mother,” cried the boy, “why don't you listen to reason? I had them a dead bargain, or I should not have bought them. The silver rims alone will sell for double the money.”—“ A fig for the silver rims,” cried my wife in a passion ; “I dare swear they won't sell for above half the money, at the rate of broken silver, five shillings an ounce.”—“ You need be under no uneasiness," cried I, “ about selling the rims, for they are not worth sixpence ; for I perceive they are only copper varnished over.”—“ What," cried my wife, “not silver ! the rims not silver !”—“No,” cried I, “no more silver than your saucepan.”—“And so," returned she, “ we have parted with the colt, and have only got a gross of green spectacles, with copper rims and shagreen cases? The blockhead has been imposed upon, and should have known his company better."2_“ There, my dear,” cried I, “you are wrong; he should not have known them at all.”—“Marry, hang the idiot !”3 returned she, “ to bring me such stuff ;4 if I had them, I would throw them in the fire.”—“ There again you are wrong, my dear," cried I ; “for though they be copper, we will keep them by us; as copper spectacles, you know are better than nothing."
1 Cocking his hat with pins, Lui retroussant son chapeau avec des épingles.2 Gosling green, Vert d'oie.-S As I live, Sur ma vie. -4 I knew you would touch them off, Je savais que tu leur en ferais voir.-5 I have laid it all out in a bargain, J'ai tout mis à un excellent marché.–6 Of green paltry spectades, De méchantes lunettes vertes.—7 See $ 36, 1.-—8 I had them a dead bargain, Je les ai eues pour rien.
By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He now saw that he had indeed been imposed upon by a prowling sharper,6 who, observing his figure, had marked him for an easy prey. Itherefore asked the circumstances of his deception. He sold the horse, it seems, and walked the fair in search of another. A reverendlooking man brought him to a tent, under pretence of having one to sell. “Here,” continued Moses, “we met another man, very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty pounds upon these, saying he wanted money, and would dispose of them for a third of their value. The first gentleman, who pretended to be my friend, whispered to me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an offer pass. I sent for Mr Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely as they did me, and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two gross between us.”7
1 A fig for, Foin de. -2 He should have known his company better, Il aurait dû mieux connaître son monde. — 3 Marry, hang the idiot! Peste soit de l'idiot! 4 Such stuff, De pareille camelote.—5 Moses was undeceived, Moïse commençait à voir clair.–6 A prowling sharper, Un escroc en quête d'une dupe.—7 To buy the two gross between us, Acheter les deux grosses à nous deux.
THE DEAD ASS. “And this,” said he, putting the remains of a crust into his wallet, “and this should have been thy portion, hadst thou been alive to have shared it with me." I thought by the accent, it had been an apostrophe to his child ;1 but 'twas to his ass, and to the very ass we had seen dead in the road, which had occasioned La Fleur's misadventure. The man seemed to lament it much; and it instantly brought into my mind Sancho's lamentation for his; but he did it with more true touches of nature.2
The mourner was sitting3 upon a stone bench at the door, with the ass's pannel and its bridle on one side, which he took up from time to time, and laid them down, looked at them, and shook his head. He then took his crust of bread out of his wallet again, as if to eat it, held it for some time in his hand, then laid it upon the bit of his ass's bridle, .... looked wistfully at the little arrangement he had made, .... and gave a sigh.4
The simplicity of his grief drew numbers about him ;5 and La Fleur amongst the rest 6 whilst the horses were getting ready; as I continued sitting in the post-chaise, I could see and hear over their heads.
He said he had come last? from Spain, where he had been from the furthest borders of Franconia ; and had got so far on his return home, when his ass died. Every one seemed desirous to know what business could have taken so old and poor a man so far a journey from his own home.
It had pleased Heaven, he said, to bless him with three sons, the finest lads in all Germany; but having in one week lost two of the eldest of them by the small-pox, and the youngest falling ill of the same distemper, he was afraid of being bereft of them
1 I thought it had been an apostrophe to his child, Je crus qu'il parlait à son enfant.2 But he did it with more true touches of nature, Mais la douleur du pauvre homme était bien plus naturelle.-8 The mourner was sitting, Il était assis tristement.4 Gave a sigh, Poussa un soupir. -5 Drew numbers about him, Assembla nombre de gens autour de lui. -6 Amongst the rest, Entre autres.—7 He had come last. Il arrivait en dernier lieu._8 And had got so far on his return home, Et qu'il avait déjà fait tout ce chemin-là pour retourner dans son pays.-9 See & 30, 13.